I have made a commitment to spread beauty. There is way too much hatred and ugliness in the world – I don’t think there is any need to spread more.

The one thing I think some people get uncomfortable about is death. According to many of them, death is to be feared and it is an an awful thing. We as Westerners spend way too much time trying to buy immortality.

For many of us, who see death as something that should be reserved for the old, will say that people died before their time.

But in reality, we all die at the appropriate time and the appropriate season.

If we are to truly embrace God and trust in God’s will in the world, we should also begin to respect the circle of life. We will not die until it is our time. The purposes and reasons of death are far too many to count.

For any Of the myriad of negative and horrible reasons we can find for death, there are just as many good and beautiful reasons. In the end it is a matter of perception.

I am in no way saying that there is not room for sorrow and grief, this is normal and good. But I would suggest that in some place during our grief, there must be room to celebrate life. In personal loss, how many wonderful things did our lost loved ones bring to our lives? How do we count the ways?

In mass death and destruction, to face the reality of it is to question why. I believe that we would be severely derelict in our responsibility to humanity to ignore such occurances. In my view, and this is only a simple observation – I could go on for days about this, but I will save that for a future post – In events of man-made destruction and death, like war, we are called to see the insanity and injustice of such actions. Jesus told us to love our enemies, not blow them into oblivion. And what about the innocents caught in the “crossfire?” Doesn’t the recognition that innocent blood is spilled underscore the incompatibility of war with Christian teaching? Ignoring the obvious “Turn the other cheek” and “Love your enemies” the pain and destruction of human life and of God’s creation is just completely “un-Christ-like”

In natural disasters, esp. The ones of the previous twelve months, how often have we been reminded of the Lord’s commandment to do unto the least of these? How often have we been shown the complete disinterest of certain government officials to take responsibility for their failings; both in dealing with our own domestic watersides and in our failing to live up to our commitment to provide monetary aid to those suffering abroad because of earthquakes or tsunamis?

The revelation of how cruel, insensitive and hateful certain individuals and groups can be in both cases of man-made and natural disasters is one of the many gifts we receive from such horrible events.

Another is the mirror of the above revaluation. What is also brought to light in such events is just how good and caring people can be. The fact that there is still good in the world – a reminder that we need way too often in our day-to-day lives.

In the end, large scale disasters provide yet another opportunity for us to live in to the teachings of Christ, as well as hold people accountable for their failings which are brought to light during these times.

In between, I pray that we don’t forget the lessons we learned at such an exorbitant price.

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